September 8th, 2012 / 3:05 pm

Check Out

Poet Rob Stephens reading alongside V. Penelope Pelizzon at The Center for Book Arts in NYC this coming Wednesday.

This piece called “Touching Feeling” by Divya Victor @ Two Serious Ladies.

Patricia MacCormack’s essay on “Necrosexuality” at Rhizomes.


This new music video for Antony and the Johnsons’s ‘Cut the World,” directed by NABIL and starring Willem Dafoe, Carice van Houten, and Marina Abramović:


  1. mimi

      mad-crushin’ on antony long time

  2. deadgod

      MacCormack’s essay refers to then develops an instance of D&G’s and Foucault’s interesting critique(s) of transgression: ‘transgression’ and ‘normality’ depend on each other for their shared boundary and its permeability, so either term refers to its difference from the other in an economy of social permission and not to innately, unchangeably, and unchangingly ‘transgressive’ or ‘normal’ things or processes.

      This problematizing of “transgression” is a useful deconstruction, because the term indicates the expression of discipline not just within institutions more or less freely entered – like, say, making an ‘illegal’ move in chess – , but more vitally – more needfully with respect to life – , discipline in institutions (if that’s the right word) not really ‘freely’ entered, but rather constitutive–like sexuality.

      –so the event of disciplining – not just of ‘forcing specific behavior’, but also of forcing inward the justifications of those behavioral compulsions – becomes a matter of justice–‘justice’ in the sense of ‘privileging the consistency of regulation’.

      It might seem obvious after decades (centuries? millenia?) of the point being made, but it remains worth re-making anew: when a behavior or even disposition is called “normal” or “transgressive”, one hasn’t named a substance or disclosed an essence, but rather, one has indicated a social fracture-line, on either side of which more or less power falls.

      –and the attribution of value – of, say, moral or ethical value – to a behavior or disposition isn’t a measure or, perhaps, even a register of the being of elements of some system, but rather, of relations of force between parts or aspects of that system–a detectable condition for the possibility of power.

      For me, the same question persists for D&G and Foucault with respect to this problematizing of “transgression” as it does for Nietzsche generally: “power” with respect to what??. For ‘power’ is always exercised by and on–at least, practically speaking. ‘Power’ is always struggled for.

      Is “power” referred to without importing ‘beings’ and/or ‘being’?

      Nietzsche uses elegant, protean paradoxes to make present his not-metaphysical ‘metaphysics’: process without substance, that kind of thing.

      Foucault, in my small knowledge, makes Nietzschean dissolution of ‘metaphysics’ a useful thing: laws against “homosexuality”? What is “homosexuality”, exactly? Are you sure you’re really against what you would outlaw? A penal system that enacts social “justice”? Are you sure that’s what your system does?

      I wonder if there’s a philosophical way not to make Nietzsche useful – Foucault does that – , but to make Nietzsche philosophical–a project easily dismissed as ‘not Nietzschean’, but, in my view, often but not easily dismissed philosophically.

  3. deadgod

      By the way, that first footnote in MacCormack’s essay: ??

      As I read it without help, either she was transgressing entertainingly (but with, to me, obscure effect) against the protocols of footnoting, or she got lost in her editing (and the ‘zine’s editor(s) let her down).

      The footnote to the word “transgression” puts the word in a theoretical framework, which is fine, but then the paragraph goes on to repeat three of the sentences in the footnote exactly and its fourth with a different ending.

      It looks to me like MacCormack put the slightly revised footnote in the paragraph, where it reads better, then accidentally left it also as a footnote.